Now that parking and mini-sites have gone the way of the dodo, what should Domainers do with their undeveloped domains?

Okay, it’s time to talk about one of the hottest topics in the Domaining industry – what should you put on your undeveloped domain names?

I’ll start by saying that sure, you could be in the 5% of Domainers that still make good money parking, but let’s be honest, you’re probably not. When I started buying and selling domains back in 2007 parking was starting to decline but I still knew a ton of people making good money with parked domains. Fast-forward to 2016 and most people I know who used to make a killing parking agree that it has gone the way of the dodo, which is a really cute bird BTW!

dodo-bird

Even nine years ago people were talking about what to do with their undeveloped domains, and at that time mini-sites were all the rage. Of course, fast-forward to 2016 and mini-sites have also died off which means that the two most common ways of monetizing your domain names just went out the window.

So what should Domainers do with their undeveloped domain names?

Of course I think it’s unfair to ask a question if I’m not going to weigh in myself, so here are my two cents. I think you have to throw away the idea of passive income and focus on doing whatever will give you the best chance of connecting with a potential buyer. This could still mean using a parking service, but it likely means having a bold and bright For Sale banner at the top.

domain-name-sales-landing-page

At the same time, services like Uniregistry offer pretty slick solutions for putting a Make Offer page directly on your undeveloped domain names that can even send those offers directly to a broker who can negotiate on your behalf. New entrants to the domain world like Efty and Undeveloped.com also offer solutions to go beyond a parked page.

efty landing pages

I am personally always experimenting and trying new services and in some cases stand-alone landing pages to see what will bring the most qualified inbound offers on my names. While I don’t have the answer, I am constantly testing and learning and what I can tell you is that if someone on your domain (preferably right at the top) it doesn’t indicate the name is for sale, it will get less offers. So in short, I think you should experiment and see what works for your names knowing that you can’t develop custom sites for each domain but you do need to do something to let people know the name is for sale.

That’s my two cents, what do you think? Comment and let your voice be heard!

Photo Credit: cali.org Flickr via Compfight cc

{ 12 comments… add one }

  • John November 6, 2016, 7:02 pm

    Great post Morgan!

    I currently mainly use Efty provides me with direct contact with the potential clients. Saying that I still have listings on Uniregistry and have tried Undeveloped. Cheers John

    Reply
  • Nick November 6, 2016, 7:06 pm

    Efty.com – try my best to sell them. I would love to learn how to create a drop-ship site for a few of the domains that I have, goal being to create a few streams of revenue.

    Reply
  • Nick November 6, 2016, 7:17 pm

    What I mean is I try to sell them on efty but I’d like to learn how to create drop-ship sites (no room or $ to store inventory right now).

    Anyone have advice on creating drop-ship sites for dormant domains?

    Reply
  • Mark Thorpe November 6, 2016, 9:03 pm

    List and point your domains at GoDaddy auctions. I have been doing this for awhile now.
    Most people recognize GoDaddy.
    You do not need a GoDaddy auctions membership anymore to make an offer of buy it now on a name listed on GoDaddy auctions. You only need a membership to list a name for sale or bid on a name.
    So a potential buyer can submit an offer or buy it now with just a regular GoDaddy account.
    You can also leave your contact info at the bottom of the page.

    Reply
    • Mark Thorpe November 6, 2016, 9:37 pm

      If you sell a name at GoDaddy auctions, you just send the buyer the transfer codes via GoDaddy auctions internal email if the name is not at GoDaddy or just push the name to the buyer if the name is registered at GoDaddy.

      Reply
  • tommy butler November 6, 2016, 11:52 pm

    Hi Morgan

    Totally agree parking is dead and mini sites are dead. you have to put the time and energy into building out sites and compete with rest people who doing websites.
    Personally never been into parking or building mini sites do like building out sites that also includes building out the social aspects like twitter, linkedin, facebook ect you have to do all these things in todays world to make your site success.
    Typical sites builing just now Glasgowcarsales.co.uk if you look site has 600 pages listing all makes models. now times that by another 50 sites its lot work still be working on it for next few months its hard work its only way to do it.

    Reply
  • Eric Lyon November 7, 2016, 9:31 am

    I don’t think parking is completely dead. It sure doesn’t pay out like it used to back in 2006 though! I’ve always been a firm believer in developing everything I own and not relying on or giving a cut of profits to parking / landing page companies. I truly believe that spending a little extra time to develop a domain asset is 100% better than parking it.

    Mini-sites aren’t completely dead either. I still have a lot of 5 to 7-page static mini-sites that generate a little income, pay their own renewals, and still provide a profit each year. On that note, I do think that RSS / Auto-generated content mini-sites are dead. The ideal mini-site these days has unique content that has been optimized for a targeted niche.

    Reply
  • Jeff Libert November 7, 2016, 9:54 am

    As far as I can tell, from experience, the same rules that gave rise to whether a domain name benefited from type-in traffic control whether building, maintaining and growing a minisite will be worth the time and cost / opportunity cost. It used to be that building resulted in fewer clicks -> less income. As time has passed there are many instances, in my experience, where that rule has reversed. YMMV.

    Depending on where someone is in the arc of their life and what their attachment is to material things it appears quite possible to build a little home-grown enterprise, based on domains + minisites, which enterprise will help keep things rolling along. More effort = more money (on the build side) but that’s pretty much a basic rule of rationale capitalism. On that point, my $.02 is to build what you enjoy spending time in and around. (My plan was always to turn retirement into a travel related enterprise, ergo domains like Tourism.org, Vacations.org, Holidays.org, Trade.org, Export.org, Experiences.com and so on.)

    Start with something world class and build on it. Whatever leverage I enjoy, based on that premise (industry defining, highly commercial, huge market verticals. etc), likely flows from a willingness to take calculated risks in the domain aftermarket in 2002-2003, when lots of folks were selling . . and some other folks were buying.

    Reply
  • Paolo Mauroner November 7, 2016, 2:05 pm

    I still continue to make nice money with parking if compared to my portfolio size.
    I’m still investing on domains for monetize their residual traffic.
    Who say that parking is dead believe this because the greatest ROI from these domains come out from domains that will never sell for 1$ just for their name.
    What is sure, is that the RPC is dropped a lot from the 2006.

    Reply
  • Xavier.xyz November 10, 2016, 6:26 pm

    Morgan,

    I used to like Uniregistry landing pages. Unfortunately, if you have an ad blocker you will only get a blank page.

    I am now using efty and couldn’t be more happier.

    Reply
    • George May 24, 2017, 9:41 am

      What’s wrong with Efty

      Reply
  • Xavier.xyz November 10, 2016, 6:34 pm

    *You may also try to offer a ‘pay per month’ option to sell domains.

    BuyDomains are doing this.

    Reply

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